Meet Shanyah Saunders ’19, a senior Information Management and Technology major with double minors in Global Enterprise Technology and Public Communications. She hails from New Jersey but was originally born and raised in Trinidad.
Tell me about yourself.
I have a big interest in technology, especially after attending the iSchool. It has become my passion since freshman year. I consider myself a leader, and I like getting involved with things I’m passionate about. I’m more inclined to get involved with iSchool activities, but I have a lot of interests across the board.
I consider myself a technical creative. I’m interesting in combining the two passions I have. After graduation, technology is the path I want to go on. I really like coding, I will probably be a developer, probably front-end development. I’ve also enjoyed photography since I was younger. I think that brings together the technical and the creative side together. I also like fashion, though that’s a side thing.
Why did you choose Syracuse University?
When I was applying for colleges, I made a list of 10 things I wanted in a university. And when I came to Syracuse, it had nine out of the ten things on the list. One of the things it didn’t have was the weather. But I fell in love with the school when I toured, and I applied Early Decision. I was set to go here.
One of the things that drew me to the school was the size. It was a big school, which I wanted. There is a lot of school spirit. It had prominent sports team, which ties to the school spirit. And it had a big range of majors, ranging from creative to vocational. It was very diverse.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the iSchool?
The biggest thing the iSchool has taught me is how to network. We do it all the time. We have so many opportunities to network, and I’m grateful for it. There are Road Trips, immersion experiences, tabling at the iSchool, company talks. I really appreciate getting a lot of practice with alums. Being able to pitch myself to companies is important.
Another important thing that the iSchool taught me is group work. Every single iSchool class has a lot of group work and collaboration. It makes you a well-rounded person. It teaches you not to just focus on your own work.
Working with groups has shown me how to work in teams better, because that’s how companies in the real world work.
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had in college?
Some of my best experiences include being a peer advisor. I really like being a peer advisor. My 101 section helps the freshmen into the iSchool and answers their questions. It’s nice to work with them, see yourself in them, and watch them grow. I became a peer advisor junior year, and I see my former advisees on campus now. I’ve seen them grow. It feels really good.
Another amazing experience was EntreTech, it was a lot of fun. It’s a grueling five days of visiting four to five companies a day, and it brought me closer to iSchool students, and other students I met. I still consider some of them my close friends.
Would you do anything differently if you had the chance?
No. I did it all.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m working with EY. I’ve interned with them for the past two summers. I’ll be working in the Technology Advisory Program (TAP). I’ll be in the New York metro area, but the main office will be in Hoboken, New Jersey. I’m very excited to start work.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for being a familiar face and someone who’s active but down-to-earth. Someone who is passionate about the iSchool. I feel like I was involved with a lot of things, and I genuinely enjoyed it. I never felt like I had to.
What advice would you give to a first-year student?
Biggest advice would be to try everything and give everything a chance. Even if it sounds cliché, I really do think trying out everything is the best way to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. It brings you a step closer to figure out what you’re doing after college. It also helps you make friends since you’re honing your passions.
The more comfortable you are in the space of the things you like to do, the more friends you make. Trying things brings a lot of benefits.
How do you feel about leaving Syracuse?
I feel ready to go, four years was enough for me. Being here was amazing, and studying abroad [in Barcelona last spring] was the best experience. I got to do so many things, I didn’t think I would be able to do.
Now, I’m thankful for that, and to start my career. I am excited to be an alum, and to give back to the iSchool community.